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2021 ACC Atlantic Predictions

By Southern Pigskin Staff
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Picks for 2021 in the ACC Atlantic.

A summer look at the upcoming fall in the ACC Atlantic.

1. Clemson -- Yet again, the defensive line is as good as it gets in college football, featuring tackle Bryan Bresse and edge Myron Murphy, who combined for 18 tackles for loss as true freshmen a year ago. Expect this veteran defense to be one of the nation's best. Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei was extraordinary in his spot start at Notre Dame last season. Having all-everything wide receiver Justyn Ross back will only make him even better.

2. NC State -- With eight starters back on offense and nine starters returning on defense, the Wolfpack are in a position to make a move. Quarterback Devin Leary, now healthy, has plenty of playmakers out wide with Emeka Emezie, Thayer Thomas and Devin Carter. Tackle Ikem Ekwonu is a star. Linebackers Isaiah Moore and Payton Wilson are both amongst the best in the game.    

3. Boston College -- The offensive line, returning all five starters, including center Alec Lindstrom and the versatile Zion Johnson, is one of the top fronts in all of college football. Zay Flowers is a proven playmaker and gives quarterback Phil Jurkovec a true number one option. There is good depth in the secondary, where former FSU standout Jaiden Lars-Woodbey comes over via transfer.

4. Florida State -- Star quarterback McKenzie Milton, recovering from a devastating knee injury suffered in 2018 at UCF, is a truly amazing story. Expect to see the Seminoles utilize both him and Jordan Travis, who scored 13 total touchdowns in 2020. Florida State needs more of an edge rush and is counting heavily on Georgia-transfer Jermaine Johnson. Former South Carolina defensive back Jammie Robinson will make an impact.

5. Wake Forest -- Third in the ACC in scoring offense a year ago, the Demon Deacons return almost completely intact. Jacquarii Roberson is one of the top playmakers in college football. All five offensive line starters return, which should only help quarterback Sam Hartman. A veteran defense will need to create more turnovers and pressure the passer. Safety Nick Anderson is an all-conference talent.

6. Louisville -- Quarterback Malik Cunningham has scored 55 total touchdowns the last two years and is a really proficient player. He should benefit from a more experienced offensive line. Cornerback Kei'Trel Clark is an All-American candidate defensively. The Cardinals need more consistency on that side of the football. Georgia Southern transfers Shai Werts, a former quarterback, and safety Kenderick Duncan, are players to watch.

7. Syracuse -- A lot of production returns for the Orange, thought a lot of improvement is needed. The combination of quarterback Tommy DeVito to receiver Taj Harris is a good starting point. Expect the defensive line to take a step forward. Linebacker Mikel Jones is a playmaker. Kicker Andre Szmyt, a former Lou Groza Award winner, is an impressive 56-of-65 on field goal tries for his career.